EPPO Platform
on PRAs

Pest categorisation of Urocerus japonicus


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Urocerus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Siricidae), the Japanese horntail, for the territory of the EU. U. japonicus is not listed in Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072 but was identified as an actionable pest in a commodity risk assessment of Pinus thunbergii artificially dwarfed plants from Japan. U. japonicus occurs across Japan and on the Korean Peninsula. It attacks fallen or weakened Japanese cedars, Cryptomeria japonica and Japanese cypresses, Chamaecyparis obtusa. It has also been observed attacking Pinus spp., Abies spp., Larix kaempferi and Picea jezoensis. The females oviposit into the sapwood. Eggs are deposited together with a symbiotic basidiomycete fungus, Amylostereum laevigatum. The larvae feed on wood infected by the fungus. All immature stages live in the hosts sapwood. The lifecycle of the pest lasts 1 year, sometimes 2 years. The wood of the host trees is discoloured by the fungus and therefore loses much of its economic value. U. japonicus can be carried in conifer wood, solid wood packaging material (SWPM) or plants for planting. Wood from Japan is regulated by 2019/2072 (Annexes VII and XI) whilst SWPM is managed by ISPM 15. The pathway plants for planting is largely closed by prohibition, with the exception of Cryptomeria spp. and specified bonsai plants for planting. Climatic conditions in several EU Member States are conducive for establishment, but the main host plants are not very common in those areas, being only amenity trees, although the other hosts mentioned in the literature, Pinus spp., Abies spp., Picea spp. and Larix spp., are widespread. The introduction of U. japonicus is likely to decrease the quality of host wood, as in Japan. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry and further spread, and there is a potential for biological control. U. japonicus satisfies all the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.


  • Urocerus japonicus


  • Abies
  • Abies firma
  • Abies homolepis
  • Abies sachalinensis
  • Chamaecyparis obtusa
  • Cryptomeria japonica
  • Larix
  • Larix kaempferi
  • Picea jezoensis
  • Pinus
  • Pinus densiflora
  • Pinus thunbergii


Type File Size
Pest Risk Analysis Link to file

PRA Area

  • EU
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
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  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
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  • Spain
  • Sweden